Aquaculture for all

Vietnam Expands Whiteleg Shrimp Production

VIET NAM - Farmers in Bac Lieu and Ca Mau provinces are expanding their breeding ponds for whiteleg shrimp, as profits have risen dramatically.

Whiteleg shrimp are now selling for VND150,000 (US$9) per kilo.

With an average output of 10-13 tonnes per ha, breeders can earn VND120-150 million ($7,500-$9,375) per ha, according to Dinh Vu Hai, technical manager of Hai Nguyen Co.

The total profits could increase by 120 per cent in one year, profits that would be equal to four times that of black tiger shrimp.

One advantage of raising whiteleg shrimp is the short breeding time, about 70-80 days, which allows for three seasons.

Under the Government’s policy, Bac Lieu Province authority is carrying out a pilot project to breed whiteleg shrimp on 1,700ha.

But most breeders have expanded their farms beyond the government’s permissible level of 10ha.

The Ca Mau Seafood Department said about 31 families in Dam Doi District were applying for permission to expand their whiteleg shrimp-breeding.

In Bac Lieu Province, where whiteleg shrimp pilot projects are limited to only 30ha, farmers, especially those in Hoa Binh, Dong Hai and Gia Rai districts, have expanded their ponds to more than 1,500ha.

Since the beginning of this year, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD) has allowed coastal provinces to breed whiteleg shrimp in a series of pilot projects in a bid to diversify seafood sources and compete with China and Thailand, whose whiteleg shrimp has won export markets this year.

MARD minister Cao Duc Phat says the ministry’s policy is to encourage the raising of whiteleg shrimp, but strictly control zoning areas, environmental preservation and quality of seafood.

Bac Lieu Province plans to develop 11,000ha of whiteleg shrimp to 2010, requiring up to VND6 trillion ($357 million) for investment in quality breeders, irrigation and breeding techniques, according to the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

According to the Economy and Aquaculture Planning Institute, whiteleg shrimps originated from South America and require different breeding techniques and higher investment.

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